Modelling the elastic properties of cellulose nanopaper

Rui Mao, Stergios Goutianos, Wei Tu, Nan Meng, Shiyan Chen, Ton Peijs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The elastic modulus of cellulose nanopaper was predicted using a two-dimensional (2D) micromechanical fibrous network model. The elastic modulus predicted by the network model was 12 GPa, which is well within the range of experimental data for cellulose nanopapers. The stress state in the network revealed both tensile and compressive stresses during elastic deformation of the model. The length, diameter, waviness and elastic modulus of the cellulose nanofibres were varied in the model and their effect on the elastic modulus of fibrous networks was studied. It was found that high values of elastic moduli of cellulose networks could be obtained for long, thin and straight nanofibres of high stiffness. The effect of inter-fibre bonding and network density was also investigated. Increasing fibre-fibre interactions facilitated stress transfer in cellulose networks and led to a higher elastic modulus of the nanopaper. Denser networks also resulted in a higher elastic modulus due to an increasing number of nanofibres and inter-fibre bonds.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials & Design
Pages (from-to)183-189
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Elastic modulus
  • Fibrous network
  • Finite element analysis
  • Nanocellulose
  • Nanopaper


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